Course Descriptions

Spring 2014 Course Descriptions


HIS 400   Senior History Capstone Seminar: Holy War – Ancient, Medieval, and Modern

 Professor Lee Follett

The primary aim of this course is to research and write a documented, argumentative senior research paper on a historical topic of your choice pertaining to the concept of holy war in Hebrew, Christian, or Muslim religious tradition.  For the first several weeks of the semester the class will meet as a group to discuss various historical manifestations of the holy war concept.  During the middle part of the semester students will pursue their research and writing individually.  Towards the end of the semester the class will reconvene for oral presentations of students’ research projects.  Through the course of the term students will submit various written assignments (critical book reviews, prospectus, annotated bibliography), and offer two in-class oral presentations.  The final paper will be due at the end of the semester.

Required Texts:

Von Rad, Gerhard, and Marva J. Dawn, trans. and ed.  Holy War in Ancient Israel.  Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1991.

 Johnson, James Turner.  The Holy War Idea in Western and Islamic Traditions. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997.

 Cook, David.  Understanding Jihad.  Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005.

 Turabian, Kate.  A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. Wayne G. Booth, Gregory G. Columb, and Joseph M. Williams, eds.  8th ed.  Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013.


HIS 465/565 Prosperity, Depression and War in America, 1919-1945

Dr. Nuwer

This course explores the political, economic, and cultural changes in the United States from the end of World War I through World War II.  A variety of teaching methods are introduced, including lectures, readings, and audiovisual presentations.  Topics such as the Great Depression, the Harlem Renaissance, Gender Studies, and Military Conflicts are included in the course of study.  Students will be expected to complete a research paper, two book reviews, and journal articles based on outside readings.  A mid-term and final exam are also part of the course average.  The following books are required:

Turning the Tables: Restaurants and the Rise of the American Middle Class, 1880-1920

African Americans in the Jazz Age

Sacco and Vanzetti: The Anarchist Background


HIS 481/581 –  Topics in Pre-Modern European History: Barbarian Europe

 Professor Lee Follett

This will be a seminar class focused upon the  " uncivilized" peoples of Classical and Early Medieval Europe:  the Celts, the Goths, the Huns, the Saxons, the Vikings, and others who terrorized empires and kingdoms but were themselves fundamentally transformed in the process.  Through extensive reading of many primary souce documents supplemented with modern scholarship, we will consider how these barbarians were preceived, opposed, treated, and in many cases assimilated by the civilized societies they encountered.  We'll explore the dichotomies between Roman and Germanic, between Christian and " heathen," between "civilized" and "uncivilized," perhaps to find that markers of identity, what separates "us" from "them," are not nearly as clear as we would believe.

A preliminary list of the texts we will read includes:

Edwards James, Europe's Barbarians A.D.  200-600.

Angus Somerville and R. Andrew McDonald, The Vikings and their Age

C.D. Gordon, The Age of Attila

Tacitus, Agricola and Germania

Gregory of Tours, The History of the Franks

Beowulf: A Prose Translation

Dede, Ecclesiastical History of the English People


HIS 488  Methods of Teaching Social Studies and Practicum

Dr. Nuwer

This course is the precursor class to Student Teaching,  It is a required class in the Secondary Social Studies licensure program and is offered only in the spring and fall semesters.  The course requires a 32 hour practicum, lesson plan construction, autonomous teaching episodes, outside reading assignments, reflective journal entries, and professional development. 

There is no required text for the class as the professor provides outside readings.